Wednesday, August 3, 2022

BOTW: the book of the summer

 

Every summer deserves a book like this. It is a deliciously long 576 pages. Do I read fast to find out what happens, or do I slow down to savor every scene, every utterance, to catch every clue? The setting is achingly beautiful. The characters, primary and secondary, are memorable.

Agnes Lee and Polly Wister have known one another since birth. Their great-grandfathers, Philadelphia Quakers, built the rambling shingle "cottages" at Fellowship Point on the Maine coast (near Sorrento, I figured out). They have spent every summer of their lives on the Point. "They knew each other so well that their speech was as vertical in nature as a good poem." (p. 81).  Agnes became a famous author of best-selling children's books featuring an intrepid girl adventurer named Nan. Polly married a college professor, had four children, and poured all her energy into her family.

In 2000 the women are 80. Agnes has been diagnosed with cancer. Polly's husband dies. There is talk among the other Fellowship Point residents and heirs about selling out to developers. And Agnes gets a new editor, an ambitious young woman who wants Agnes to write her autobiography. Secrets hidden for decades are revealed. There are misunderstandings and fallings-out. But in the end true, lifelong friendship prevails.

Every summer deserves a book like this, but not every summer gets one. We are fortunate that 2022 is one of those years.

3 comments:

  1. You've stirred up my interest!

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  2. You’ve already given me a good lead this summer—working my way through Paula Munier’s series now. This one will follow those.

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